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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve at the Club

There was a good turnout for the Christmas Doubles and mince pie eating at the club on Christmas Eve. The regular members were joined by the "young" Seymour, Tomalin, Povey and Eadle.
The highlight was the grill competition when Colin Butler showed why he is club captain by hitting the grill not one, not two but three times in succession. After tumultous applause, this feat prompted Mark to have a go but not even the club professional could match up to Colin on Christmas Eve. It would have been churlish to disqualify Colin for not wearing white....

Happy Holidays to all. The club re-opens on 27th.

Sign up now for the Club Handicap Doubles, 17/18th Feb.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Oratory progress to Semi-Finals of the Brodie Cup

The Oratory team beat the MCC 4/1 to go through to the semi-finals of the Brodie Cup where they will travel to either Cambridge or Hatfield. The Brodie Cup is the "Second Division" of the T&RA Inter-Club championship; a club/team event with 5 matches played in a specified order:
45+ Doubles: Andrew Woodward /Ian Glyn beat Rob Baker /Peter Dean 6/3 6/4
30+ Singles: Simon Booker beat David Blizzard 5/6 6/1 6/1
40+ Singles: David Fox lost to James Guest 3/6 5/6
50+ Singles: John Kennedy beat Paul Cattermull 6/1 6/0
35+ Doubles: Mike Box /Tom Povey beat Roger Pilgrim /John Beatty 6/1 1/6 6/2.
Many thanks to Mike for organising the match, the team and the food! For full Brodie Cup results see

Friday, December 08, 2006

Oratory win 7-0 v Hampton Court

In a great evening's tennis Oratory had an emphatic victory in the National league, Mark Eadle winning in straight sets and Bryn Sayers beating Ben Ronaldson 2 sets to love. Bryn's 1st set was an intriguing affair with some fabulous shotmaking from Ronaldson. However, Bryn showed the temperament and ability on pressure points that has carried him into the world's top 10 taking the set 6-5. To round off a perfect evening the Eadle/Sayers combination produced a brilliant display of power, volleying and control to take the doubles comfortably 8-3.
Messrs Box and Gordon shared the grill competition.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Oratory Old Boys beat Old Amplefordians

A successful start to the season for the Oratory Old Boys in their first ever match - beating Old Amplefordians 3-2 at home. With Taylor and Armstrong saving the day, levelling it out to 2-2. Leaving it to Herbert to seal the win with the last match of the day.

Oratory - Charlie Coupland, Dave Allaway, Jason Taylor, Ed Armstrong, Grahame Povey and Chris Herbert.

The next match is vs. Tonbridge on the 10th of Feb @ Queen's Club. - Chris Herbert

Knox Takes Championship

With a marvellous display of tennis Paul Knox took the Oratory Championship on Sunday. In spite of some spectauclarly hard forcing from Guy Barker that threatened to cause structural damage Paul never lost the initiative in the match winning in 2 sets. The tournament was enjoyed by all and we look forward to next year ... can young Mr Knox do it again.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Championship Final and Club Dinner

The final of the club championship is to be played on Sunday 3rd December at 5pm. The match is to be played between Guy Barker and either Paul Knox or David Main.

Please come along and support the final on Sunday as I’m sure it will be a ‘thriller’ of a match. Following the match is the Annual Club Dinner where there will be the presentation of the club awards.

Both Mark and Bryn will be playing in a National League v Hampton Court on Thursday 7th December starting at 6pm.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Woodward & Marmoy take Moreton Morell Inter Club Trophy for Oratory

Andrew Woodward partnered Alex Reynolds ( a late replacement member from MMorell stepping in for Ian Glyn) in the club tournament.

The Woodward/Reynolds partnership played two matches at Moreton Morrell and one at Leamington on the Saturday , winning two and losing one , going through to Sunday as group runners up. On Sunday they beat MCC in the Quarter Finals 6-3 . Bristol and Bath 6-4 in the semi and beat Hatfield House in the final 6-3.

Richard Marmoy played for Oratory in the singles losing in the final meaning Oratory also won the overall Club trophy.

A great weekends play, two bottles of champagne and a 1st Real Tennis trophy for Andrew Woodward.

Congratulations !

Field Trophy and Brodie Cup disappointment for Oratory

Field Trophy - Great to see Oratory fielding a Field Trophy team and good performances from all against very strong opposition. ( Oratory 1 Holyport 4 )

  • Paul Knox (12.6) lost to Peter Wright (7.7) 6-5 6-1
  • David Main (19.1) Beat James Coyne (20.3) 6-5 4-6 6-4
  • James Bloore lost to ?? 6-3 6-4
  • Eric Walker (28.6)/ Dave Allaway ( 30.8 ) lost to Penny Lumley (13.7) / Russel Loyd ( 23.5) 6-0 6-0
  • Colin Butler (31.5)/ Pete Harding (34.0) lost to Robert Hird (20.2)/ Karen Hird (27.9) 6-3 6-4

Brodie Cup - Disappointing result but some excellent tennis from all , Harbour proving too strong. ( Oratory 2 Harbour 3 ) :-

  • Simon Booker (31.9) lost to Scott Levy (31.3) 4-6, 6-5, 3-6
  • David Fox (41.2) lost to Simon Pennington (41.5) 2-6, 4-6
  • John Kennedy w/o Harbour forfeit
  • Mike Box (35.2) / Tom Povey (40.0) lost to Will Browne-Swinburne (38.1) and Viveca Stewart (42.5) 1-6, 6-0, 3-6
  • Andrew Woodward/Ian Glyn w/o Harbour forfeit

Monday, November 06, 2006

National League : Oratory v Hampton Court , Dec 7th

Don’t forget to book your place in the next National league match v Hampton Court on Thursday 7th December

Friday, November 03, 2006

Young Guns go for it in Paris ! Bryn & Camden in Doubles Final

Bryn has won his semi finals doubles match with Camden Riviera in The French Open Paris and will play Fahey and Gunn in the Final.

Footnote : Sadly Bryn & Camden went down 6-0,6-3

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Bryn pushes Camden Riviere at the French Open

Bryn took the first set but eventually lost out to Camden Riviere at the French Open in Paris. But a great performance losing the 3rd and 4th sets to 5.
C riviere beat B Sayers 2/6 6/3 6/5 6/5

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Book Now - Annual Club Dinner, 3rd December

Date : Sunday 3rd December, (Post Club Championship)
Venue : The Oratory Black Room
Presentation of Prizes including the most improved player of the year. Champagne Reception, 5 Course Dinner
Price: £35.00 per person
Dress Code: Sunday Best!
Carriages : 11pm
Numbers : Limited to 60 people !
Please Signup at the Pro’s Shop, Cheques payable to Oratory Tennis Club

Monday, October 23, 2006

Autumn Ultimate Doubles

This event was held on the 21st/22nd October with 8 pairs in the 30-40 handicap range and 8 pairs in the 40-50 range.
The 30-40 group was won by Eric Walker and Steve Kendell who beat Mike Allaway and Paul Knox 6/5 in the final.
The 40-50 group was won by David Fox and Kevin McCourt who beat Ian Wood and John Kennedy 6/3.
The results have been entered onto RTO giving (probably) our first set of doubles results and handicap changes. All matches were played off level and were one set with 40-all (no deuces).
In the 30-40 group, of the 16 matches, there were 8 Wins (2 big wins!), 4 draws and 4 gave no result.
In the 40-50 group, there were also 8 Wins (one big win and one handicap win although the match itself was lost), 3 draws and 5 gave no result.
There were many good matches overall with some very promising doubles play. Of the 32 matches, 8 went to 6/5 and 6 to 6/4. Only one match was 6/0 with only 3 being 6/1.
There may be another event in the Spring. Please contact if you are interested but did not play this time.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Fitness for Real Tennis Session - 6th November

I would like to invite members to a Fitness for Real Tennis session

This is a great opportunity to learn about the physical requirements of the game and the training principles for improving aspects of your game. There will be a chance to ask me any specific questions after the session plus a grill competition.

The session will take place on Monday 6th November 2006 on the Real Tennis court at The Sports Centre from 6:00pm. The price of the session is £3.00 per person and spaces are available on a first come first serve basis. To reserve a place e-mail me ( or call The Sports Centre

Thanks Tom

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Real Tennis Warm-Up

For Top Tips on staying Fit for Real Tennis see Tom Huelin's Website

Warm Up - Warming up before a game of tennis or any sporting activity is essential for improving performance and minimising injuries. The primary physiological effects of a warm up are to increase core temperature, increase heart rate and blood flow to the skeletal muscles, increase the activation of the central nervous system and to increase the force and suppleness of connective tissue. A warm up should include an initial pulse raising activity such as jogging, cycling or rowing, followed by a series of dynamic exercises, finishing with some sports specific drills.

Pulse raising: The initial stages of a warm up should consist of a pulse raising activity to initially increase heart rate and blood flow to the working muscles. Jogging, rowing and cycling are effective pulse raising activities (although jogging is the most suitable for real tennis).

Real tennis is a game that requires a large amount of lateral movement. Therefore it is important that the warm up should replicate a game situation as much as realistically possible. I suggest performing activities such as sideways and backwards jogging, high knees, crossovers, and short bursts of running or sprinting.

At this point many fitness professionals and coaches would encourage players to perform static stretching exercises where muscles are contracted and held for a period of time. My research and experience has lead me to believe that pre event static stretching does more harm than good. Also, I can’t think of a single sporting activity where a player is stationary during a game.

Dynamic exercises: The game of real tennis requires players to be quick, agile and be able to perform complex movements quickly. It is therefore important to prepare for these situations in the warm up. I suggest forward, backward and side lunges with twisting hip rotations. Upper body exercises should include dynamic arm rotations.

Sports specific drills: Real tennis specific practices (forehand, backhand, volleying) should be performed with your opponent immediately prior to playing.

By following these principles you will give yourself the best possible chance of success and decrease the chances of picking up an unnecessary injury. I am proposing that members use a squash court (if available) or the 2nd floor area to warm up, although I appreciate that there is limited space for jogging and running. However, as mentioned previously rowing and cycling are effective pulse raising activities.

If anybody has any questions on warming up or has any ideas that they use before playing then please get in touch.


A picture paints a 1000 words ...

See some of the images of the World Championships and the court's extended viewing areas.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Whittaker & Brownlee Win Out-the-Hat Mixed Doubles

Great fun had by all with many exciting matches and new players taking part . Group winners were:

C.Butler / J.Gordon, S.Brownlee / I. Whittaker, I.Walker / J.O’Sullivan, C.McLean / P.Tomalin

Winning pairs played a round robin and eventual winners were Ian Whittaker and Sarah Brownlee. Well done to Ian and Sarah as they both played well throughout the whole weekend.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Real Tennis Extravaganza Night - Thursday 16th November

There is a Real tennis Extravaganza evening on Thursday 16th November for friends to sample the game, watch an exhibition and have cheese and wine! Book now with the Pros

60 People Watch National League

Thank you for all your support last night for the national league match v Leamington
Over 60 people! Great atmosphere, food, and company.

The match ended in a narrow win for Leamington by 2 matches to one Kevin Sheldon and Marc Seigneur took the final doubles 8/4. Great also to see many members making use of the free guest pass. Well done Callum Maclean for being the first winner of the “beat the chase” competition

The next home national league match will be against Hampton Court on Thursday 7th December.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Revenge is sweet for Bryn ..

After losing to Nick Wood in the European open Bryn Sayers got his revenge by winning in straight sets 6/2 6/3 at the Canford Invitational 1st October.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ladies Mornings - Wednesdays at 10

Ladies mornings are on Wednesdays 10am. A drill session is run by Bryn for the 1st half hour to work on all shots.

Bryn wins 3 hour match at Lords in European Singles

Bryn played at the European singles at Lords beating Rod McNaughton 6/1 6/5 3/6 6/5 in a 3 hour match. Sadly he was unable to progress further going down to Nick Wood in 3 sets.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Club Ultimate Doubles 21-22 Oct

Club Ultimate Doubles -- this year we are holding two events, one on the Saturday and one on the Sunday, for two groups using the same format for each event.
We are aiming for 8 pairs for each day, with each pair getting 3 matches in a round-robin format and 1 match for the final place. All matches are off level and we will try to keep the groups within a similar handicap range. Ideally, we'd like the Saturday to be handicaps 40-50 and the Sunday handicaps 30-40.

Please see here: for further information. Either sign up at the club or send email to

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Message from Tom Huelin

My name is Tom Huelin and I have just started work at The Sports Centre. My role will centre on maximising the usage of the great facilities here at The Oratory with particular emphasis on the swimming pool, squash courts and sports hall.

I will also be working closely with Jonathan on the proposed gym on the 3rd floor with a view to managing the area on its completion.

Before working at The Oratory I was a gym instructor and personal trainer in Reading and worked with many sports players at improving their performance.

If anybody is interested in improving any aspect of their fitness or working on the physical aspect of their tennis then please contact me.

I will be organising a squash club and early morning lane swimming sessions and I have attached details to this e-mail.

I am very keen to introduce a range of activities such as Pilates, Yoga, and Aerobics classes for staff, members and local people. I would really appreciate your ideas on what sort of activities you would enjoy.

I have met some of you and I look forward to seeing you all in due course.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

IRTPA Championships 2006 - Holyport

Can Camden Riviere find something special against World Champion Rob Fahey. Watch live on Monday night 18:30. You will need to register, download real player and pay some money of course but after that you can be on court with the players.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Mark and Bryn in National League

While watching Mark and Bryn playing for the Oratory in the Maurice Lacroix National league

Tuesday 3rd October, 6.30pm v LEAMINGTON ( Kevin Sheldon /Mark Seigneur )

£15 for supper and match. Also bring a non-member for FREE !

Book with Jonners by phone or e mail

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Communications Survey

Help us to understand your needs for keeping you up to date on club events, news and results. Take the survey.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

"Out the Hat" Mixed Doubles

Call or email us now to enter the "Out the Hat" Mixed Doubles event on Saturday 7th October - Jonners

"Out the Hat" Doubles results

Congratulations to Jenny Gordon and Michael Seymour who are the first winners of “OUT THE HAT “Doubles. They beat Callum Mclean and Eric Walker in a hugely successful event.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Art of Ball Making

An interesting Real Tennis site with a comprehensive description of how to make balls and many other items for enthusiasts.

Night Pennant 2006

Time for the Real Tennis Club’s Annual Night Pennant Tournament!

For anyone who doesn’t already know the format, five teams of six players headed by five stunningly sensational captains (well, give us a break, it’s a terrible job!) compete for the coveted and valuable trophy.

Each team plays four matches over the course of the Autumn term on Wednesday evenings from 8.00 pm. The evenings are fun, a good way to meet new members and there is sometimes even some excellent tennis!

If you would like to be a team member, please sign up (or ‘phone the Pro’s) at the Club. Alternatively, if you don’t think you can commit to being in a team, you could sign-up as a reserve. Your team captain will contact you in due course with match dates to put in your diary.

The list is on the wall and filling-up fast. See you on court!


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Championship Knockout Live Status

To see realtime progress on the Club Championship Online. Click Here

Match handicap Calculator

Have you ever wanted to know a match handicap in advance and don't know your opponents current handicap ? Well thanks to Tom Povey you can now select your opponent and in the time it takes a good bobble to reach the receiver - presto - there's your handicap calculated ! Calculate My Match

Friday, August 25, 2006

The New Season Is Nearly Upon Us

We are very excited about our new team. Bryn Sayers, you would have seen in the last flyer, starts this September and we know that you will make him feel most welcome. Bryn will be joining Mark to make a formidable Oratory team in the National League - many great supper matches will be in this season’s fixture list.


Announcing Tom Huelin

Also joining us is Tom Huelin. Tom lives in the village and has a sport science degree from Southampton University. His role at the Sports Centre will be very varied but he will be i/c the new fitness suite planned for the New Year using his skills in personal training; other roles will include responsibility for the swimming pool with plans for very early swims for members!

Tom is keen to play real tennis so challenge him now before his handicap drops too low!

The New Committee

We owe so much to all those who have been on the club committee for the last few years, in particular Mike Allaway and Mike Taylor - they have given so much of their time. The highlight of course was the highly successful World Championship - they and the others deserve the right to play in peace for many years to come!

We welcome :-
  • Colin Butler takes over as Club Captain from David Gordon
  • Ian Whittaker who will our club representative with the T&RA and Fixture Secretary
  • Mike Box will be Hon Treasurer
  • John Kennedy will be looking after all social events

Dates for the Diary

Thursday 26th October
A Pro/Am day

Sunday 3rd December
Champagne final of the Club Singles competition followed by an evening event - watch this space for details

Howdle Singles Results

Congratulations go to

Alan Wagner winner of the HOWDLE SINGLES SOUTH beating Chantelle Harding
Eric Walker winner of the HOWDLE SINGLES NORTH beating Caroline Gilmore

A Farewell To Susan

A fun night of grass court tennis and Pimms was had by all those who came to say “Goodbye” to Susan as our professional. Susan, as you may well know, has taken up a post with HP, but will be back playing as a prominent member of the Club. Willie Clegg won the nearest the pin golf competition while Messrs. Howell and Eadle demonstrated their skills as chefs with the BBQ, although Willie’s sardines presented a challenge!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Out the Hat Doubles Competition

Entries are now open for the


On 2nd/3rd of September 2006. Players names will be put into a hat and partners drawn the week before the competition.

If you would like to enter please email or call
Jonners or Mark on 01491 681303

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Young Star Joins Oratory Team

We are delighted to announce that Bryn Sayers will be joining the Professional team from the 1st September.

Bryn is a World class player having started his playing career at a very early age at Seacourt Tennis Club.

He looks forward to meeting you all at the start of the new season.



Sunday, August 06, 2006

Real Tennis Court in 3D

The court model was created in 3D using SolidWorks software.
The model was also used as part of the 2006 world championship coverage

Club Open Championship 2007

The club championship has been revived after a few years absence. Taking place between September and Christmas the championship will be a seeded knockout for the top 16 players on handicap. One set to 9 games. Draw posted on club noticeboard.

Organiser : Michael Seymour


Welcome to the Oratory Sports Centre Blog

The Real Tennis club was formed in 1990 with the building of the court at the Oratory School and forms a central part of the Sports Centre Activities. Follow this link for a short history of the club.

Sports Executive: Jonathan Howell
Head Professional: Mark Eadle
Assistant Professional: TBA